U.S. stocks advanced slightly on Thursday, as data showing improvement in the labor market helped bolster expectations in the economic recovery and spurred a minor rotation towards stocks seen as more likely to benefit from the rebound. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 141.59 points, or 0.41%, to 34,464.64, the S&P 500 gained 4.89 points, or 0.12%, to 4,200.88 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.72 points, or 0.01%, to 13,736.28.

European shares closed at a record high on Thursday boosted by Airbus after the planemaker hiked its jet output targets, while German shares weakened after shares in pharmaceuticals maker Bayer were hit by a court ruling. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.3% to 446.44 points, a record closing high. French planemaker Airbus jumped 9.2% after it set out sweeping goals to expand production of jetliners, as the airline industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. German shares shed around 0.3%, lagging other regional markets, with Bayer the biggest drag on the DAX, falling 5.0%.

Maltese markets meanwhile ended slightly lower, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index slipping 0.06 percent to 8,244.091 points. Only four stocks traded, with two of them posting losses. BMIT Technologies Plc recorded the largest drop with shares down 2.04 percent at €0.48, while Malta Properties Company Plc lost 0.92 percent to €0.54. The MSE Malta Government Stocks Total Return Index closed nearly unchanged, losing only 0.03 percent to 1,119.553 points while the MSE Corporate Bonds Total Return Index added 0.41 percent to 1,126.280 points.

Source: Reuters, Malta Stock Exchange

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